- Provide text alternatives for photographs, charts, graphics so they can be changed into usable formats, such as large print or Braille, for visually impaired users;
- Make videos accessible via text and sequencing;
- Minimize use of blinking and flashing;
- Provide documents in text-based, not image based, formats for ease of reading;
- Provide alternatives to time-based media;
- Provide a second static copy of page where auto-refresh or timed response required;
- Provide keyboard-accessible content;
- Provide a navigable site;
- Add a “Skip Navigation” link; and
- Provide screen reading software.
Despite the lack of formal ADA website accessibility requirements from the DOJ, places of public accommodation should take a proactive look at website accessibility issues and take steps to protect themselves in light of potential litigation — including possible class litigation — from private individuals, disabled advocacy groups and the DOJ itself. Given the goals to make website-based goods, services and information accessible to persons with disabilities, and to minimize litigation risks, working with experienced legal counsel and website accessibility consultants to take proactive steps both now, ahead of the DOJ’s requirements, and later, once the new requirements issue, is highly recommended.
These efforts should include (1) making sure that access to physical facilities is compliant with federal, state and local accessibility laws and codes; (2) reading the DOJ’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking from July 2010,1and the Title II proposed notice when it is issued later this month; (3) reviewing the WAI’s accessibility guidelines and assessing website compliance; and (4) having experienced accessibility defense counsel assist with advice to remediate problems and either preempt or, alternatively, shut down website accessibility lawsuits quickly and efficiently.2